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Brussels, 26 October 2004

EU mobilises an additional € 80 million from African Peace Facility to support enlarged African Union observer mission in Darfur, Sudan

The European Commission welcomes the final approval by EU Member States of its proposal to mobilise an additional €80 million in support of an enlarged Africa Union (AU) observer mission in Darfur, Sudan. The funding will support the deployment and operations of the 3144 strong African Union observer mission that will monitor the implementation of the Darfur cease-fire agreement. Funds will be mobilised through the African Peace Facility which provides € 250 million from the European Development Fund to support African led peace keeping operations in Africa.

Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian aid Poul Nielson said: “The leadership shown by the AU in dealing with the conflict in Darfur offers a real hope of finding a lasting solution. This is good news for the millions of affected people in Darfur and neighbouring Chad. But it is also good news for the AU’s efforts to establish itself as the authoritative conflict resolution institution which is so badly needed in order to bring peace throughout the continent”. Commissioner Nielson added: “Once again the EU’s response to the request from the AU has been swift and resolute[1]. For me this is a confirmation that we were right in creating the African Peace Facility instrument which will make the EU better able to support African solutions to African problems.”

The EU will provide €80 million in support of the enlarged African Union observer mission to Darfur for a period of 12 months. The observer mission will comprise 626 military observers a 1073 member protection force and a 815 strong civilian police component. Troop contributions are primarily expected to come from Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania. The observers will support the implementation of the cease-fire agreement signed by the parties to the Darfur conflict in Addis Ababa on 28 May 2004. In particular the Mission is expected to: (i) ensure that the rules and provisions of the ceasefire are implemented; (ii) contribute to a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid; (iii) assist in the development of proactive public confidence building measures; and (v) observe and monitor the service delivery of local police and to enhance the quality of these services through training. The observer mission is currently being deployed in Sudan.

The EU contribution to the African Union observer mission is mobilised from the African Peace Facility which was established on 19 April 2004. €250 million have been made available for the African Peace Facility from the 9th European Development Fund.

The facility is designed to support African led, operated and staffed peacekeeping initiatives in Africa. In addition, the Facility will also contribute to the strengthening of the capacity of the Africa Union and its sub-regional organizations to design, plan and implement peace operations on the continent.

In June the AU deployed a first observer mission to Darfur comprising some 150 military observers. The EU granted €12 from the African Peace Facility in support of that mission.

In a bid to strengthen the capacity of AU’s Peace and Security department the EU has recently approved a €6,5 million support programme to run over three years. This programme is also financed from the African Peace Facility.

The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid Office ECHO, is also providing substantial humanitarian aid to the victims of the Darfur conflict. A total of €92 million euro have been allocated to meet the needs of people affected by the conflict in the Darfur region and to provide relief to the Sudanese refugees that have fled to Chad as well as their local host communities.

[1] The African Union submitted its funding request to the EU on 20 October 2004.

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